Write for yourself first


We write for our subscribers and followers, to show them we understand them and can help them. So, besides talking about their problems and our solutions, we talk about their world—their industry or market and subjects that interest them. 

Because if we don’t, if all we talk about is the law and “how-to’s”, prospective clients might read us today (when they need us) but might not read us tomorrow. 

And tomorrow might be the day they do need us, or talk to someone they can refer. 

Writing a blog or newsletter or other content isn’t just about “getting the sale”. It is also about building relationships. 

And that’s why marketing folks (myself included) tell you not to make your content all about you. 

But this doesn’t mean you should never make it about you.

You are important in this equation. People want to know not just about your work, or even exclusively about their world, they also want to know about you. 

A relationship is about two people and you’re one of them. So, in addition to writing for your readers, it’s important that you also write for yourself. 

That means sometimes you write at length about your life and weave in lessons or stories that apply to your readers. You might talk about your trip to the bookstore, something interesting you saw in the courthouse, about your kids, or something about your hobby, and share a lesson told by the experience.

Other times, you simply mention these things in passing. “I was running errands on Saturday, looking for a parking space, and thought of something I want you to know”. 

If you don’t write for yourself, writing a blog or newsletter can eventually feel like drudgery. You’ll run out of ideas and energy and your writing will become boring and ineffectual. If you write for yourself, however, you’ll enjoy it and continue doing it because talking about yourself is enjoyable. 

A good rule of thumb is to write your first draft for yourself. Write what you want to write about, not just what the market wants or needs. Say what you want to say, what you find interesting, inspiring, or that made you laugh. Forget about your reader on this first pass and tell your story the way you want to tell it.

Then, on a second pass, bring them into the picture. 

This will help you write more effective content